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John Clarke was a soda fountain owner in New York City. He saw the potential of the area's pure water and purchased land with partner Thomas Lynch in 1823. In 1825 both men started bottling water.

Saratoga Springs was the home to 122 natural springs and renowned for the therapeutic mineral water. The Iroquois Indians called the High Rock Spring the " Medicine Springs of the Great Spirit".

The first bottles produced were from the Mt. Vernon Glass Works. The bottles were embossed LYNCH & CLARKE until 1833. This was the year Thomas Lynch would die. Then the Bottles were embossed John Clarke. Below is a photo of the JOHN CLARKE / NEW YORK bottle photo courtesy of ebay.

john clarkeCourtesy of ebay

John Clarke would marry Widow Eliza White who purchased the High Rock Springs. Together they form the Company Clarke & White and bottled their Saratoga mineral water. Clarke successfully marketed his bottled water across America and Europe. The Clarke & White mineral water bottles are one of the most common do to their success. Below is a photo of one of their bottles in a quart size. It is embossed CLARKE & WHITE / C / NEW YORK.

clarke white

John Clarke would die in 1856. A few years after his death a William B. White bought the property from his heirs and remained sole owner until his death. Mrs. Sheehan Bouty how was William's sister bought the property from William's heirs. Now she would become the sole owner. She would sell one half of her interest of the company to Chauncey Kilmer and a corporation was formed now called The Congress And Empire Spring Company. Below is a photo of one of their bottle embossed CONGRESS & EMPIRE SPRING CO / E / SARATOGA, N.Y.

congress wmpire..empire spring labelBottle wrapper courtesy of Ebay

Bottles embossed with the C come from the Congress Springs and bottles embossed with an E come from the Empire Springs.

At some point the Hotchkiss family became the principal shareholder and by 1884 the company would split forming two companies. One was called the Congress spring Company and the other called Empire Spring Company. Below are photos of one of the Congress Spring bottles. It is embossed CONGRESS SPRING CO / C / SARATOGA, N. Y. // CONGRESS WATER

congree water 1.congress water 2

congress trade cardCourtesy of ebay

Above is a trade card of Broadway looking south from the Grand Union Hotel. The photo of this trade card is courtesy of ebay.

empire spring

Above is a photos of an EMPIRE SPRINGS CO / E / SARATOGA, N. Y. // CONGRESS WATER. By 1889 the use of the Saratoga bottles declined and was replaced by more modern bottle closures. Both companies were sold at auction in 1904. Below is a photo of the Congress Spring and Park. This photo is courtesy of ebay.

congress water photo


Saratoga's by Bernard C. Puckhaber 1976.

Sylvester's History of Saratoga County 1866 and 1878.

Frank & Frank Jr. (Wicker) Bottle Collection.

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